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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2018

Melissa James and Dongkoo Yun

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that affect higher education student satisfaction and to understand students’ perceptions of their academic success and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that affect higher education student satisfaction and to understand students’ perceptions of their academic success and future employment expectations at a particular institution.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzes institutional performance related to students’ satisfaction and their preparedness for future employment endeavours. The questionnaire is designed specifically for students who are eligible to graduate, and the survey is implemented over the institutional website via the student portal and a total of 750°-seeking undergraduate students (target population) are invited to participate.

Findings

The descriptive results of this study suggest that while student satisfaction may be relatively similar for all academic programmes, there are differences in the perception of career expectations based on chosen academic programme. Most notably, the results also indicate students’ expectations for employment did not have a negative effect on their satisfaction with the higher education institution (HEI). In contrast, they were mostly satisfied with their academic and personal development. In essence, they felt prepared for the workplace and satisfied with the skills and knowledge developed at a university, regardless of job expectations. This paper suggests that institutions may wish to heighten their focus on academic factors in their efforts to retain students and improve their student academic experience.

Originality/value

This study is conducted at a small-sized (less than 5,000 students) higher institution in Canada that primarily provides undergraduate courses and focusses on students’ employment expectations and their rating of the academic experiences. This study can assist HEIs in developing policies related to student retention and success. HEIs may find this study useful in developing policies and programmes related to transitioning from undergraduate studies to the workplace.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Melissa James-MacEachern and Dongkoo Yun

There is little research into small higher education institutions and international students’ choice in selecting these institutions. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little research into small higher education institutions and international students’ choice in selecting these institutions. The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors that influence international student choices in selecting a small institution. In particular, this study compares the differences between Chinese students and other international students in selecting an institution, specifically based on sources of information used, usefulness of the information, pull motivations, and reference groups/items.

Design/methodology/approach

This research study examined undergraduate international students at a small-sized Canadian higher education institution. “International students” were surveyed – as the total population included all students who are studying at the institution on a study permit or a temporary resident (visitor) visa. All full-time and part-time international students attending the institution were eligible to participate in the survey regardless of their faculty or major. For the sampling process, international students at the institution were intercepted on campus using convenient sampling and personal interview method to participate in the survey. In addition, students were invited within the classroom to volunteer to complete the survey. They were able to complete either a paper-based survey or an online survey by following a hyperlink.

Findings

Results indicate that international students considered “the university’s website” as the most used information source but perceived “direct communication from the institution” as the highest ranked usefulness of the information when selecting a small institution. Further, findings indicate that international student cohorts perceived “environmental cues and educational facilities” as the most important pull motivational factor and the institution itself as the reference that has the most significant influence on student decision making.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted on students who were surveyed following their enrolment and attendance at the institution. Students were surveyed at various stages of their undergraduate studies. As a result, some of these responses may be several years from the actual decision of selecting an institution and student recall may not be accurately reflected. In addition, examining student decision making prior to, during, and immediately following their choice of institution would most likely create better information as student attitudes and perceptions would be recorded closer to the actual decision. In addition, given that these students are attending the institution their actual experience on-campus may have impacted their responses either positively or negatively.

Practical implications

This study provides insight into international student choice in choosing smaller institutions. These findings can support recruitment policy and strategy for international students and may assist in enhancing institutional performance.

Social implications

The study reinforces the need for policy makers, institutional leaders and recruiters to understand motivations to pursue overseas studies and to ensure push, pull, and structural factors are aligned for successful student recruitment outcomes. While there is commonality among international student cohorts, there are also significant differences that need to be addressed by institutions and destinations for international students. These findings are presented from one small higher education institution in Canada.

Originality/value

This study created new knowledge regarding international student decision making in choosing to study at a small higher education institution. The study compared the key factors that influenced decision making and identified differences among Chinese students and other international students. There is little research into the international student decision making and small institutions. This study provides unique insight into international student choice and influences on their decision making.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Sean Hennessey, Dongkoo Yun and Roberta Macdonald

The purpose of this study is to segment the market of first‐time visitors based on the activities travelers engage in while at a destination using demographics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to segment the market of first‐time visitors based on the activities travelers engage in while at a destination using demographics, socio‐economic variables, and trip‐related characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The research analyzes 1,104 exit surveys completed by first‐time visitors to the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. Clustering analysis identifies three segments that are refined and tested by multivariate and bivariate analyses.

Findings

The results indicate that there are three distinct segments of first‐time visitors based on travel activities: culture‐oriented (26 percent of the market), active (37 percent), and casual (37 percent). The key differences among the three segments are demographic, socio‐economic, trip‐related characteristics, and spending patterns. These results confirm the sustainability and profitability of the market segments.

Practical implications

Segmenting markets for products or services, in any industry, is vital to gain a better understanding of the customer, and to better allocate scarce tourism resources to product development, marketing, service, and delivery. Therefore, all tourism industry stakeholders must be aware of the market segments that are currently visiting the destination.

Originality/value

Tourist segments based on activities are not absolutes, but a continuum. The majority of first‐time visitors to a destination engage in a variety of travel activities across the segments, running from more to less involved. Successful tourism destinations are those that meet the various activity needs of their segments in both their marketing and on the ground.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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